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The Importance of Being Earnest continued March 13th.docx

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Department
English
Course
ENG2106
Professor
James Brooke- Smith
Semester
Winter

Description
The Importance of Being Earnest continued March 13 , 2014 th Wilde’s style Why does he write this way? What is literary style is for? Wilde Witty, flamboyant, estheticism Institution of marriage Wilde models his genre on the romantic comedy Certain authors use certain style To convey a philosophical truth Uses style to get their message across; too vague Thoughtful thesis statements relate to a cultural, philosophical truth Style is a rapier/scalpel Uses style to hide his actual views Uses language to defy everyday existence Antithesis: inverting our expectations about what the characters are saying Champagne: accepted hierarchies are thrown out the window Change of expectations on how to act in society Upper classes have an example set on lower classes (Reversed; inversion) 1739 Algernon: serious about meals Value system: interest in futile things: sensory pleasure Victorian hierarchy: this is low. Society is more important Earnestness: both men have to lie about being “E(a)rnest” About morality and discourse; meaning what you say, integrity 1741 Gwendolyn Phatic speech: delivered without any attention to its meaning or content Used to open up conversation (pleasantry) Empty banter seems to contain a broader/repressed zone of tension that she can’t make  out Reveals and conceals: unstated assumptions that he’s working against 1746 Assumptions about genders are turned on their head Lady Bracknell: masculine, controlling behavior Inversion again: “All women become like their mothers, that is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.” Girls lose idealism, beauty; become harsh, matronly Men: can only grow up to being a very narrow definition of being masculine Gwendolyn: learns about desire for name Ernest from a magazine Told by media that “earnestness/Ernest” is the right idea Point out the way that social institutions constrain identity; both male and female Suggests that there may be desires in men to be more feminine Immediately; Wilde jokes, but hides it in a smoke­screen of style “It is perfectly phrased” bewitching them with a style; slips in identity politics Style: form of antithesis De­familiarize social expectation Marriage Social context of marriage Victorian era Marriage conceived differently than it is und
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